Svoboda talking up benefits of 13th Cannon baseball fete


High Schools

April 23, 2004|By PAT O'MALLEY

Veteran umpire Frank "Jocko" Svoboda of Glen Burnie has been out in the county selling ads for the Friends of Joe Cannon's 13th annual Baseball Scholar/Athlete Banquet on May 16.

Svoboda, 75, loves helping young kids, especially baseball players, and has raised nearly $1,000 on his own. The non-profit organization showcases the top student athletes from the county's 16 public and private baseball-playing schools and, over the last two years, has given $5,000 in scholarships.

"I'm a little concerned about the future of our scholar/athlete banquet, because we don't seem to have as many members involved in raising money as we have had in the past," said Svoboda, who has yet to umpire a high school game this spring because of bad knees but still has hope that he will.

"This is such a great thing, to honor these student athletes and give away scholarships to the best of the very best."

Each baseball coach is expected to nominate his top student athlete, and then the Cannon board of directors chooses the top three for scholarships to be awarded at the banquet.

The first-place selection receives a $3,000 award, the second-place $1,500 and the third-place $500.

Various fund-raisers are conducted during the year by the Friends of Joe Cannon, who was a leader in recreation and youth sports before passing away. The baseball stadium in Hanover was named in Cannon's honor and his wife, Rachel Cannon, remains involved with the group, which also sponsors a senior high school all-star game.

"We need some help and more people and coaches to step up," said Svoboda, who once coached Hall of Famer Al Kaline in amateur baseball before turning to umpiring nearly 50 years ago.

For information on future meetings of the Friends of Joe Cannon, call Svoboda at 410-761-0642.

5K set for May 8

The sixth annual Pop Trot, a 5-kilometer run and 1-mile fun walk in memory of the late David "Pop" Warner, is set for 9 a.m. May 8 at Downs Memorial Park in Pasadena.

Warner, a former Anne Arundel County teacher and baseball coach at Northeast and Chesapeake-AA, was hit by a car and killed in Nags Head, N.C. on Jan. 18, 1999.

The cost to participate in the Pop Trot is $12 in advance and $15 the day of the event with proceeds going to the Pop Warner Memorial Baseball Fund. The fund sends local children to area baseball camps.

For more information, call 443-691-3763 or 410-207-9502.


Broadneck's No. 9 boys lacrosse team went to 8-0 Tuesday with a 6-5 win at No. 2 Severna Park (5-2) as freshman goalie Pat Simpson had a dozen saves.

"Pat's had to step it up for us, and Pat's been real big since moving into the goal a couple weeks ago," said Josh Peck, who had three goals against the Falcons. "We've had to count on him, and he's leading our defense. He played a heck of a game."

Showing the balance of the Anne Arundel County baseball league, Glen Burnie (6-5) downed South River, 7-3 on Wednesday, one day after the Seahawks (5-7) upset No. 4 Severna Park, 8-5.

Severna Park's tennis team is 9-0 after Wednesday's 6-3 non-league win over Prince George's Eleanor Roosevelt. The No. 1 boys singles player, Matt Buckley, led the way for the Falcons.

Have a note? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499 or send e-mail to

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